Friday, 17 July 2015

Learning pedagogy

Through general development and experience in the last year with my apprentices on Digital Learning Design, I want to emphasise the importance of pedagogy in their eLearning design development as well as their general knowledge.  So I intended to put together a small programme of getting my apprentices (Level 3 with the view of adapting this for Level 4) to further develop and extend their understanding of pedagogy.  Overall, I felt that I should focus more on how pedagogy works and the impact it has.  I identified the following areas but they are broad and I feel there needs to be more flesh to them:

  • What is learning
  • Learning theories
  • What is teaching
  • What is assessment

I asked out the ALT community to see what they suggest and recommend should be in it which was a great help.  I was given the advice from Dawn Alderson that I should start this with a bottom-up approach as these are end points.  I needed to introduce more links to theory and practice in a more incidental way, which can be done through active experimentation, which links to Kolb's experiential learning theory.  This is particular good as they are learning and practicing but also going through the experience themselves in which they can reflect upon later.

So, I ask at this point, how can I do this at Level 3 (advanced) and Level 4 (higher)?  The main approach I have is to give them more learning theories and get the apprentices to analyse them and include in their storyboards for designing eLearning.  I could get the apprentices to apply more learning theories and evaluate how they work, don't work and how they can be improved.  Then as part of the process they should reflect on their own work as well as their experience.  I could also get them to self or peer question how does their eLearning design motivate their users to learn.  This should then reinforce their understanding of pedagogy.  This makes it a more context rich experience in which I can set a pitch and pace for continuity and progression.  To consolidate all of this, I could bring all the apprentices together to discuss their findings and experiences and what it meant to them and the audience they have created these eLearning designs for, and they can suggest recommendations for future work.  However, I could also reiterate the learning pyramid and get them to analyse how each retention rate can be improved with learning theory and eLearning theory; adding the Technology Enhanced Learning aspect.

As Terry Loane pointed out; "people learn best when they are involved with others in authentic activities in authentic contexts."  "The important message to get across to your apprentices is that they learn best by being involved with the real stuff of their vocation/profession rather than in a classroom with a teacher and all the 'inauthentic' baggage of learning goals, assessment etc."  This emphasises what pedagogy should be about; meaning making and helping it become relatable.
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